Iran says the conversion of its highly enriched uranium into powder for its medical research reactor, as documented by UN monitors, is a “serious and concrete confidence-building measure.”
Tehran has converted one-third of its highly enriched uranium into powder used as fuel for its medical research reactor. Experts confirm that reversing such a process is highly dangerous and complicated.
The UN nuclear watchdog noted the move in its report as a display of goodwill from Iran and grounds to resume nuclear talks with world powers.
Associated Press reported last week that Hossein Naqavi, a senior Iranian lawmaker, said Iran has taken a concrete step to ease international concerns by converting some of its 20-percent-enriched uranium stockpile into powder, stressing that the move highlights Iran’s rejection of nuclear arms.
Iran insists that its uranium enrichment activities are all directed at producing fuel for its nuclear reactor, used for producing nuclear isotopes for cancer treatment.
Iran has also announced that it is willing to suspend its uranium enrichment activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, which appear to have caused a steep decline in the value of its national currency.
The United States and its allies want Iran to halt uranium enrichment and ship all its enriched uranium outside the country.
Mark Fitzpatrick, the director of the Non-proliferation and Disarmament Program at the International Institution of Strategic Studies, has described Iran’s move to produce the U308 powder as “slightly reassuring” and added that it confirms that the high level of uranium enrichment does in fact have a civilian purpose.